Brandon Ingram drives against the Boston Celtics on Nov. 8, 2017. (Credit: (Ty Nowell/Lakers.com))
Against their biggest rivals — a team that had won nine games in a row — the Lakers were pushed around at the start of Wednesday’s game.They fell behind by as many as 21 points early in the second quarter of their 107-96 loss to Boston, as the Lakers could not find success against the physicality of the league-leading Celtics.“We were playing a little selfish and defensively we were getting ‘big-boyed’ on the court,” head coach Luke Walton said.But the Lakers (5-6) were able to pull themselves back in the game behind a big man of their own: Julius Randle.So good off the bench this season, Randle once again packed a bunch of production into a small amount of playing time.He put up 18 points and 12 rebounds in 21 minutes, pulling L.A. within nine at halftime.“We just started taking the fight to them and stopped worrying so much about what they were doing,” Randle said.With Jordan Clarkson (18 points) joining the onslaught, the Lakers even used an 11-2 run to cut their deficit to two midway through the third quarter.But Boston (10-2) was able to take advantage of L.A.’s mistakes.Aron Baynes was a bruiser down low, piling up 21 points on an 8-of-12 clip with five offensive rebounds.And even though All-Star Kyrie Irving was held to 19 points on 21 shots, the Lakers’ 21 turnovers gave Boston too many chances.“We’ve just got to value the ball,” Clarkson said. “It’s not hard.”While the Lakers committed too many unforced errors, they did receive encouraging play from Brandon Ingram, who extended his double-digit scoring streak to six games.The 20-year-old continued to attack the rack and mixed in three mid-range buckets (including a tough and-1) to reach 18 points on 7-of-11 field goals with seven rebounds.Yet the Lakers couldn’t fully recover from the Celtics’ physicality and their own wasted possessions.“They were bigger than us, they were stronger than us (in the first quarter),” Walton said. “… After that I thought we engaged nicely in the fight. We just didn’t do smart things.”
Lonzo Ball had nine points (4-of-15), five rebounds, six assists and four blocks. … Al Horford (concussion protocol) did not play for Boston, and Jayson Tatum (ankle soreness) left the game in the first half. … A sold-out crowd of 18,624 filled TD Garden.